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Re: [civilwarwest] Forrest as an army commander

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  • hooperjwboro@comcast.net
    Greetings Bob, I agree with your 3rd issue. The 2nd issue ,I think was invalid by 1863, where southern armies were retreating. That issue would be about
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 25, 2005
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      Greetings Bob,
       I  agree with your 3rd issue.      The 2nd issue ,I think was invalid by 1863, where southern armies were retreating. That issue would be about as important as denying Cleburne the promotion because he was in hardware.  M.O.
          The 1st issue rests on not seniority but Jefferson Davis and his inability to separate performance and association-WP
          The 4th issue... I take issue  ( well.. for argument sake)
      There was not a refusal to surrender but a disagreement why. When overruled, he asked permission to leave. Buckner agreed as long as performed before his negotiations with Grant. Forrest left with all of his command minus one company plus various others including Gen. Pillow. ~ 
       At Chatta.  after  the loss, Bragg ordered Forrest to turn his troops over to Wheeler.     This was the 2nd time Bragg had taken away the boys Forrest had recruited, trained and equiped without Bragg's help as promised. Forrest instead of sniping like others , faced Bragg at his headquaters  and expressed his feelings in exact terms  and threatened him with peril if he crossed his path again
          Forrest predicted that no action would take place and Bragg did not report it.
      Bragg's performance at Chatt, is noted
       Ft. Pillow, Forrest claims the breastworks were taken all along the line, with the newly freed slaves retreating to the river with arms where a gunboat waited. I do not intend to defend these soldiers that took a fortified position. Official reports of the combatants mean more than impressions.
                                                                                                                  Respectfully,
      John Hooper
       
      -------------- Original message --------------
      There are several issues in considering NBF for higher command. First, he
      was promoted to MG as late as Dec 1863 and the CS army was very strict about
      seniority. Considering the notoriously touchy feelings among Civil War
      generals in general and Rebel ones in particular, I doubt that he could have
      been temporarily appointed to full general, jumping over the senior LTGEN at
      corps command in the AOT without wholesale resignations. Nor would Jefferson
      Davis have considered doing it.

      Second, NBF was an uneducated former slave dealer, a definite put down to
      lead "gentlemen."

      Third, NBF had not attended the School on the Hudson, another "requirement"
      for higher rank. Look at Cleburne (BTW, a MG Dec 1862, a full year ahead of
      NBF) who was denied corps command, let alone army.

      Finally, I am curious about those who argue that Forrest "got along" with
      other officers. It is my impression that he was notoriously insubordinate,
      starting with his refusal to surrender at Donelson. Didn't he allegedly
      threaten to shoot Bragg? And why was he off massacring troops at Fort Pillow
      instead of supporting Joe Johnston against Sherman in the summer of 1864?
      IIRC, he was sent to the Mississippi to raid to get him away from the AOT
      and from his disputes with the various officers he felt were not terribly
      competent.

      A big part of being a "general" is the ability to get along with and use
      subordinates who may not be as good as you are, but with whom you are stuck.
      You must convince them that you have the skills and knowledge to provide the
      leadership necessary to being victory and then use them to the best of their
      ability. One thing NBF never had was much tolerance for what he perceived as
      incompetence.

      He never served as a line infantry officer, commanding a brigade or division
      in the drudgery of day to day activities, nor did he demonstrate a great
      knowledge and ability to use logistics.

      He was a superb mounted infantry commander, a great scout and tremendous
      raider. To have made him the commander of an infantry corps, let alone an
      army would have been a greater mistake than appointing Hood and far less
      likely that the appointment of Cleburne would have been.

      Take care,

      Bob

      Judy and Bob Huddleston
      10643 Sperry Street
      Northglenn, CO  80234-3612
      303.451.6376  huddleston.r@...

      "The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is
      given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable
      and uncontrollable events."

                                    Sir Winston Churchill


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